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Pike readied for new paint, less parking for new bike lanes

You’ll have a long time to wait before Seattle creates a Pike/Pine “superblock” but crews have already begun marking out the near-term bicycle future for Pike between downtown and Capitol Hill.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says it is checking on the start painting and parking restrictions along the route but the work crew laying down the preliminary markings Wednesday said the markings along the street will be painted Saturday, weather permitting.

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CHS reported on the community outreach process to collect feedback from businesses and residents along the route along with area bicyclists and advocacy groups to create the new lanes as a first phase start to including Pike/Pine in Seattle’s so-called Center City Bike Network, an effort to create travel corridors for people choosing to pedal their way around the central city and reduce single occupancy vehicles in the city’s core.

SDOT says the “redesigned” Pike is being re-marked and travels lanes shifted to create general travel lanes in each direction, “paint-and-post bike lanes,” and reconfigured load zones. SDOT is also removing parking along a handful of blocks on the route — mostly from the north side of the street:

Some parking changes will accompany the street redesign and new lanes on Pike St. This includes the removal of on-street parking on the north side of Pike St between Boren Ave and Broadway, and the removal of parking on the south side between Terry Ave and Crawford Pl.

To create more space for the new lanes, SDOT is also moving many load zones and pick-up, drop-off locations “around the corner or across the street from where they are today.”

“Our goal is to work with all adjacent building and business owners to understand parking needs and maintain on-street loading zones are on most blocks,” SDOT says.

A new left-turn restriction is also slated to be added at Minor.

Funding comes as part of the Washington State Convention Center Addition which was requited to provide a suite of public benefits in exchange for vacations of right of way required for the expansion, securing $10 million for the protected bike lanes project. Permanent lanes will be completed after the addition is finished, which is expected in 2021.

UPDATE: SDOT has provided this mailer with an overview of the expected construction which they confirm is set to begin this weekend and wrap up, weather permitting, next weekend. “New protected bike lanes can improve safety and calm traffic, increase ridership, and maintain transit priority,” it reads. You’ll see the old markings being ground off and new striping done during the first weekend. The wrap-up work includes pavement markers and the addition of the “green material” marking the bike lanes. Police and flaggers will be on hand to assist with traffic throughout the work. The mailer does not indicate that Pike will be closed to traffic during the work.

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18 thoughts on “Pike readied for new paint, less parking for new bike lanes

  1. Some people claim there is no “war on cars.” The elimination of parking for this project (and many others) is proof-positive.

    • Oh the melodrama. You might have to spend one extra dollar on parking and add one minute to your travel time, so someone walking or biking doesn’t get run over. Yes, that is “war on cars” alright.

      • I thought Bob was just trying to make a recurring point about the prior generation of Seattle residents being less educated or equipped to engage in data-driven policy analysis, than our new generation of folks (thanks to AMZN for the pre-screening!).

      • I don’t ever have to park in Pike-Pine, but for those that do (and the businesses that depend on them) this will make access more difficult. I’m not against the bike lane….just saying their are negative consequences.

      • It will make access more difficult for people when they are using cars and easier for people when they are using bikes. Given the space constraints of our congested and growing city, some rebalancing of our transportation infrastructure toward more space-efficient modes is appropriate and likely to improve access overall. Do you think that cyclists are some alien species just passing through enroute from Mars to Venus and would never have reason to patronize an Earthling business?

        By the way, “war on cars” is pretty incendiary language for someone who’s not against bike lanes.

    • Some people claim there is no “war on cars.” The elimination of parking for this project (and many others) is proof-positive.

      Is that why nearly every day I’m run over by drivers who show complete disregard for traffic laws? Near misses despite me, as a pedestrian or cyclist, following traffic laws 100%?

      I don’t remember declaring “war on cars”, but it’s clear they’ve declared war on me and other non-motorized modes of transportation.

      Well Bob, per your clearly rational belief, it’s only appropriate that us non-car soldiers fight back in this “war”, correct?

      I would think that removing a little bit of parking is an appropriate counter-attack.


    • It’s rather ironic Eli, that you want to call other people out as ignoring data driven policy….

      Sorry, but the actual data (of which there is actually quite little) shows that separated bike lanes are generally at best no safer than major roadways and at worst less safe. I could have told you that without a study… but it’s nice to know that years of experience are confirmed by the numbers too.. Lanes such as the dual way one installed on Broadway are stupidly unsafe…. Downhill bike lanes are stupidly unsafe – worse when they have barriers that prevent cyclists from being able to move freely. Want to be safe – be traffic, don’t try to hide from it. The only thing separated bike lanes protect you from is being hit from behind mid block… yes, this is usually the most deadly type of accident, but it is also the least common. These lanes increase the risk of being hit at intersections. Don’t use them.

      Here’s a real study –

      • Hi!

        Actually, umm… I’ve read quite a few of such studies over the past decade (not just the consumer-readable press releases like the one linked below), and am friends with several of the researchers.

        But still appreciate the link!

      • I’m not 100% anti bike lane or even anti side path – there are times and places for them. I would certainly not want to ride across the 520 bridge with highway traffic and quite appreciate the dedicated and separated side path.

        Uphill bike lanes on higher speed roads are fine – especially when they have no parking adjacent so that one need not worry about being invisible to turning traffic or vehicles entering from side streets or having a door opened in your face.

        On the other hand, downhill bike lanes are nearly always an extemely poor choice. Separated lanes decrease visibility and mobility, increase intersection and driveway collisions and are inappropriate for neighborhoods. Narrow painted lanes with right hand side parking are doorings waiting to happen. Even the most bike forward European countries with drivers that are more accustomed to and expected to share the roads with cyclists admit this…

        But, Seattle does exactly what is recommended should not be done… Puts bike lanes, and worse separated lanes in low speed, high turn volume neighborhoods. Just stop…… Badly designed facilities are worse than no facilities. They give novice cyclists a false sense of security and drivers a false sense that all cyclists should be using them and thus not be using the roadway.

        This blog has a link to many good articles

  2. This is great, now it will be much easier to see business storefronts without parked cars obstructing our view. Can’t wait to live in a vibrant city that doesn’t feel like wandering around a massive parking lot.

  3. This is awesome, this is beautiful. Pike St. feels calmer, and even as a motorist, I can see up and down the street unobstructed, so I can avoid collisions a with cyclists, pedestrians AND cars. One other thing: this is not a silly City of Seattle concession to just a few cyclists who will use this corridor for commuting. This will be used in the near future to carry deliveries by bike. Domino’s Pizza Capitol Hill deliveries have already switched from cars to E-Bikes. Cars just can’t get around anymore at peak hours, and no amount of road building can fix that. It is high time we better accommodate alternate modes of transport, and this project achieves that.